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American Forces Press Service

Two Suspected Insurgents Netted in Baghdad Raid

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 31, 2004 - Acting on a tip from an Iraqi informer, coalition forces raided a suspected insurgent safe house in Baghdad and captured two men March 30.

The raid netted Basim Ali Rahim and Khalid Mahmoud, both suspected of involvement with the March 18 attack on the Berj Al Hyatt hotel in Baghdad, Army Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, deputy operations director for Combined Joint Task Force 7, told reporters at a news conference in Baghdad today.

Mahoud, Kimmitt pointed out, is a former Iraqi soldier and erstwhile member of the Iraqi Interior Ministry under deposed dictator Saddam Hussein.

The general said the two men also were on the coalition's wanted list for their alleged anti-coalition involvement with a Baghdad gang of former Hussein-regime members.

Coalition troops also snagged a group of suspected bomb makers March 30 during another Baghdad raid, Kimmitt noted. The operation, he said, netted 11 people and weapons, chemicals, bomb making "cook books," assorted poisons and various small-arms ammunition.

Two of the captives seized in the raid tested positive for being around explosives after being subjected to a coalition vapor detection apparatus, Kimmitt said.

Another March 30 coalition raid on a house in the Adhamiya section of Baghdad netted three suspects, 13 million Iraqi dinar, 30,000 American dollars, and a large amount of ammunition and weapons, he said.

Kimmitt noted the past week has seen a daily average of 28 engagements against coalition military forces, five per day against Iraqi security forces, and just under four per day against Iraqi civilians. In the past 24 hours, the general said, the coalition conducted 1,416 patrols, 20 offensive operations and 11 raids, and captured 52 anti-coalition suspects.

Kimmitt also described other recent coalition operations in Iraq:

Northern zone - Iraqi security forces in Mosul were attacked three times March 30. Iraqi police reported a drive-by shooting that injured no one, another shooting that wounded a Mosul television station security guard, and another drive-by shooting on a traffic control point in Mosul that resulted in no injuries.

North-Central zone -- Two bodyguards for the governor of Diyala province and three bystanders were injured today in Baqubah when a suicide car bomber blew up himself and his car near the governor's automobile. The wounded were taken to Baqubah Hospital, and the governor was unharmed. The Iraqi police are investigating the incident.

Coalition troops conducting Operation Centaur Rodeo to interdict weapons smugglers near Baqubah seized three people and netted numerous weapons March 30. Also, coalition forces began Operation Tiger Fury east of Balad on March 30 to stop anti-coalition activities and capture insurgent forces in the area. The operation seized 19 people, with no injuries to coalition forces.

Southeast zone -- A British convoy encountered an explosive device while traveling southwest of Basra. Three injured personnel were taken to the local military hospital for treatment.

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